Chinese New Year: Noodle Bowls with Ginger-Garlic Meatballs

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The Chinese New Year arrives February 19th this year  and marks the beginning of the Year of the Sheep.  This Lunar New Year is celebrated all over the world with fireworks, feasts, parades and cultural events . Our family loves to head to Philadelphia’s Chinatown to take in the festive celebrations, held over several weeks.

To celebrate the Lunar New Year I made Asian-inspired noodle bowls filled with veggies, piping hot broth and tasty mini ginger-garlic meatballs.  Reminiscent of the Hot Pot, this meal incorporates several symbolic ingredients for the New Year:  long noodles for a long life; ginger and scallions for prosperity and unity;  mushrooms for good fortune; meatballs for reunion/unity; cabbage and carrots  for prosperity and luck; cashews for gold/money; onions for cleverness.  Whoa, let’s hope this soup delivers all it promises!  For more good omens in the New Year serve fruit for dessert arranged on a round platter:  apples symbolize peace and wisdom, oranges and pineapple, wealth, good fortune and gold, dried apricots, gold and wealth.  The round platter symbolizes togetherness.  Fresh fruit is the symbol of new life, new beginnings.  (www.nationsonline.org)

Planning ahead lets this meal come together quickly with a simple assembly of the components.  It can be adapted for a crowd.  Essentially you will need a rich  broth,  meatballs and veggies.  Everyone tops their soup with add-ins of their choosing. At the end of the post I will share ideas for setting an Asian-inspired table.

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